Ploughcroft Building Services Ltd has been put into administration and sold to a new company, Ploughcroft Ltd.
It has emerged that the company hit financial difficulty after the series of feed-in tariff cuts enforced on the solar industry caused many of Ploughcroft’s customers to default on payments.
Ploughcroft shot to prominence after its Managing Director, Chris Hopkins, featured on Dragon’s Den in an attempt to persuade the panel of entrepreneurs to invest in the company. In the end, Ploughcroft Solar walked away with £120,000 worth of support from both Deborah Meadan and Theo Paphitis.
Speaking after his successful appearance on Dragon’s Den, Chris Hopkins commented: “This is very important to me, as I want Ploughcroft to grow to become the trusted household name of choice for solar and renewable energy installations.
“We’re one of the leading solar PV panel installers for the UK and I want our name to be synonymous with solar power, just like big brand names are with other household industries.”
However, the company ceased trading last week, making all of its workforce redundant – as the industry continues to feel the effects of the ongoing solar slump caused by DECC’s latest round of feed-in tariff cuts.
An agreement has been reached between the administrators and the former owner of Ploughcroft Building Services Ltd, which will see Hopkins continue to trade under the newly-formed Ploughcroft Ltd. Hopkins has indicated that the new company will set up a customer helpline to assist with customer warranties offering help, guidance and advice as the new business goes forward.
Commenting on the situation, Hopkins said: “I started out as a roofer 20 years ago and I am adamant to retain my credibility in this industry.”
“I saw solar as the way forward before the recession hit the building and roofing industry in 2006 and have helped produce the solar roofing NVQ which is now being taught in colleges across the UK, and used as a key competency in the MCS accreditation process.”
Expressing his shock at the news, Chris Cash, Owner of Eclipse Solar Ltd and previous Ploughcroft employee, took to social networking site, Linkedin, to write: “A little concerned to hear that a company like Ploughcroft, that appeared to be so successful, has closed its doors today!
“I worked with Chris Hopkins and together took it to a 5 million turnover then he had the fortunate arrival of the dragons when I left and now out [sic] their out of business. The ups and downs of our industry!”